TV Ratings: ‘Community’ returns down, while ‘Big Bang Theory’ dominates Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 2, 2014.
On 2014’s first night of largely original programming, “Big Bang Theory” came out strong and dominated Thursday in all measures, carrying CBS to comfortable primetime victories.
Over on NBC, “Community” started its fifth season below last spring’s return, but still far above returning numbers for “Sean Saves the World” and “The Michael J. Fox Show,” so take that with some grains of salt. 
“Community” also came back with far better demo numbers than the night’s other premiere, impressively dismal numbers for ABC’s fill-in drama “The Assets.”
Depending on timing, I’ll probably do further analysis of Thursday’s numbers a bit later in the day (or tomorrow morning) when Finals are available.
On to the Fast National numbers…
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.7 rating for Thursday night, nearly beating the combined totals for the next three networks in the key demographic. ABC and NBC tied for second with a 1.1 key demo rating, while FOX averaged a 0.7 in the key demo. The CW averaged a 0.2 key demo rating.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 10.85 million viewers and a 6.4 rating/10 share for Thursday primetime and this in this measure, CBS did beat the next three networks combined. ABC was a distant second with 4.42 million viewers and a 2.9/5, followed by NBC’s 2.1/3 and 3.34 million viewers and FOX’s 1.6/2 and 2.55 million. The CW averaged 815,000 viewers and a 0.5/1 for the night.
8 p.m. – CBS’ romp started in the 8 p.m. hour with “The Big Bang Theory” (18.93 million viewers and a 5.3 key demo) and “The Millers” (11.55 million and a 2.9 key demo). ABC was second overall with the 4.91 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating for the premiere of “The Taste.” NBC’s two episodes of “Community” averaged 3.74 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating and then 3.03 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating. [Last year’s return, a surprising success, averaged nearly 4 million viewers and a 1.8 in the key demo.] FOX’s repeat of “Sleepy Hollow” was fourth with 2.05 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating, topping the 836,000 viewers and 0.3 key demo rating for a repeat of “The Vampire Diaries” on The CW.
9 p.m. –  CBS stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour with “The Crazy Ones” (8.24 million and a 2.0 key demo) and “Two and a Half Men” (8.55 million and a 2.1 key demo). ABC stayed second with 4.57 million viewers for the second hour of “The Taste, which also moved up to second with a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. FOX’s “Bones” repeat was third overall with 3.04 million viewers and fourth with a 0.7 key demo rating, compared to NBC’s “Sean Saves the World” (2.77 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo) and “The Michael J. Fox Show” (2.515 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo). The CW’s repeat of “Reign” averaged 794,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. – “Elementary” got to spend a week atop the 10 p.m. hour with 8.92 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS, though the ratings didn’t rise without ABC’s “Scandal.” “Parenthood” remained NBC’s Thursday standard-bearer with 3.99 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating for second. On ABC, the premiere of “The Assets” averaged 3.78 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in the key demo for third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.